02 November 2014

Jams, higher tolls and animosity choking Singapore-Johor lifeline - November 2014

Based on the story from the link here, it seems that it is not getting better for Iskandar Malaysia to grow further without the co-operation between two governments across the borders. The recent increase of toll fees in Causeway does not help in easing the congestion, but in fact, it has actually dampened the demand of investment from Singapore, especially for those SMEs that thinking of moving to Iskandar Malaysia from Singapore. 

As a local living in Johor Bahru for more than 20 years, worked in KL for about 2 years and now working in  Singapore, I believe that it's quite hard for Malaysia government to solely focus on Iskandar Malaysia, as they would prefer to focus on Klang Valley (or Greater Kuala Lumpur) which is targeted an increased population of more than 10 million in near future. Penang as tourism hub and electrical hub would get investment from MNCs as well. So how do Iskandar Malaysia would like to position itself? 

According to the study, there was about 15% job created are for highly skilled people. It means that majority of the jobs created are actually meant for blue-collars jobs. If the trend keeps continuing, Iskandar Malaysia would only be the place for people to retire or for relaxation. Hopefully with better relationship of both governments, then we would have a better chance of development in Iskandar Malaysia. 

I believe that Johor State government would try to fight hard for local people here. I understood that according to Malaysia government, the KL-SG high speed rail project may not be completed by 2020. I hope that the so called RTS project could be finalized soon and a proper execution timeline can be determined and confirmed later, so that the issue of congestion on Causeway could be solved soon. 

By 2015 - 2017, there will be a lot of residential projects completed. This is due to the fact that Iskandar Malaysia was getting spotlight on year 2012/2013 after Legoland was completed as well as the Educity / Johor Premium Outlet / Hello Kitty World / Pinewood etc. So now, it is time for Iskandar Malaysia to create more highly paid / professionals jobs to Rakyat here, so that hopefully one day, we would see like another Shenzhen in South East Asia.  

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